Peter Rands, CEO of Small Pharma, on DMT and Parliament
We had Peter Rands, Director and CEO of Small Pharma (TSXV: DMT.V OTC: DMTTF) last month. Small Pharma is a psychedelics-based company located in London, UK, and we’re pleased to welcome him back to The Dales Report for part two of his interview, discussing his company and their focus on DMT.
Here’s some highlights from the interview.
Small Pharma has several patent applications focused on DMT without functional changes to the molecule
Small Pharma has an extensive patent portfolio, the bulk of which (26 patent applications) are related to psychedelic tryptamines. Many are largely focused on drug substances and drug products related to DMT.
“That’s the DMT molecule without any functional changes to it,” says Rands. “But we have developed a technology using deuterium, which is an isotope of hydrogen. That helps us change the half life of the drug and the biological properties. Two of our preclinical compounds, SPL-028 and SPL-029, are based on that technological platform.”
Small Pharma has proprietary patent positions in mind for DMT research
“We build drugs based on known active ingredients because we want a clear supply chain for the essence of the medicine, and we’re also looking to develop products that have something proprietary about them,” says Rands.
Bluntly, they want to create drugs and solutions that give them a patent position. This helped set the scene for their technical development.
“The development of DMT was largely around the fact that there was an opportunity to optimize the synthetic process for making it. So we developed a very cheap and scalable synthesis using environmentally friendly raw materials. That synthesis also allowed us to develop our Deuterium enrichment technology, because there’s kind of a dovetail in the process,” he adds.
UK has an infrastructure that fosters virtual companies like Small Pharma
Several of the world’s leading institutes for developing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy are based in London, including Imperial and Kings College London. “London is a very dense center for understanding and researching this area,” says Rands.
The UK also has significant R&D tax incentives for companies like Small Pharma, Rands says, and further explains that a lot of the infrastructure necessary to run virtual pharmaceutical companies were enabled by the legacies of big pharmaceutical companies that grew up there.
“These companies have now created an amazing ecosystem of contract research organizations and contract manufacturing organizations that virtual companies like us rely upon.”
Might see a change in scheduling “within this parliament” says Rands
While the UK introduced legislation that helps address new drugs, unfortunately “DMT and psilocybin are in the old act,” admits Rands, which will slow down Small Pharma’s plans somewhat.
Fortunately, he sits on the working group for psychedelic medicines, and he says that the chair is very vocal in lobbying various individuals within the government.
“We could see change with respect to the scheduling of psilocybin and other psychedelic substances within this parliament perhaps?” says Rands.